Breast augmentation is one of the most popular kinds of plastic surgery performed in the United States. And while it’s common for women to arrive at their consultation with a pretty well-formed concept of what they want, many tend to gloss over the recovery.
But that phase is critical to ensuring you achieve your desired shape. So here’s a little insight into what you can expect over the days and weeks immediately following your surgery.
The first few weeks
During the first week after your breast augmentation surgery, focus on resting and following your plastic surgeon’s recovery instructions to a T. Everyone heals at their own pace, but those two acts will go the furthest toward facilitating a quick and complication-free recovery.
Any drains or sutures may be removed within a day or two after the surgery.
Your breasts are likely to feel tight and tender, but that should gradually dissipate with each passing day. The surgical bra or compression garment recommended by your plastic surgeon will help. As will applying cool packs to swollen, bruised, or tender areas.
There should be a significant improvement in the swelling and bruising after the first week. The swelling and associated discomfort generally peaks over the first three days or so. From there, the vast majority of swelling usually goes down within six weeks.
Sleeping with your torso elevated will help limit the swelling. It may take a little getting used to, but it should be relatively short-lived. You will, however, need to sleep on your back for a couple of months to avoid unnecessarily straining your incisions and to continue to keep the swelling to a minimum.
Within a week or two of their surgery, most women are able to return to work and other light activities, like walking. That’s important because it’ll improve your circulation and boost your mood.
You’ll still, however, need to avoid the more strenuous stuff, including high-intensity exercise and, sorry to say it, sex for a few more weeks. Raising your blood pressure too soon after an operation can lead to complications that could harm your health and compromise your results.
Month 2 and beyond
Maybe the top question on every woman’s mind as she proceeds through recovery is, “How long will it take for my implants to settle?”
Your implants will sit high and firm on your chest until the surrounding tissue and muscle adjust to their presence. Once they relax, your breast implants will settle, or “drop and fluff,” into their intended position. Generally, the process takes three to four months, but it can take up to six months if your implants are especially large or your breast tissue is firmer than average.
But that’s a much subtler transformation than it sounds. Beyond that, most women are nearly completely recovered from their surgery within a few weeks. Over the course of the next several months, your incision scars will fade to thin lines that will be all but invisible when you’re wearing a bikini or a low-cut top—leaving just you and your captivating new breasts.